Abe 'relieved' at Japanese hostage's release but wants to confirm identity

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday (Oct 24) that he was "relieved" that a Japanese hostage believed to have been captured in Syria three years ago had been released, but added that the government still needed to confirm the man's identity.

Late on Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo had received information that a man believed to be Jumpei Yasuda, a freelance journalist, had been released. He said the government had notified Yasuda's wife, but still needed to confirm his identity.

Speaking to reporters, Abe also thanked Qatar and Turkey for their co-operation in the hostage's release.